Stories from the ER – Just like that

IMG_0391A 43 year old female is brought into the ER by the paramedics.  Already intubated, CPR has been going for over an hour and a half now.  The trauma bay is full, so the acute side it will be.  A wide eyed little granny across the way witnesses the young woman being torn of her clothes, leads being put in place, and lines started in a room full of 10 or so people dressed head to toe in blue.  And then the curtains close.  CPR continues.  The electrical rhythm on the monitor signifies a heart unable to perfuse.  No clues as to a reason why. Absolutely none.

Twenty minutes in, the doctor calmly reports that if no signs of life return, this will be the last shock.  The machine is charged, for the last time, to 200 Joules.  All clear, everybody clear.  Shock.  Hoping, hoping.  Pulse check.  Hoping.  Nothing.  The code is called at 2145.  Just like that.

IMG_0374That’s it.  Just like that.  A young, healthy woman who was out walking her dog 3 hours earlier is now being cleaned and properly presented so that her family does not have to see the blood, the tubes, the remnants of lost hope.  Her 8 and 10 year old daughters and husband will see their loved one peaceful and calm.  No more yelling, no more panic.

As I overhear the tears and screams of terror coming from the room with closed curtains, I try to hide the tears that are wanting to start from inside of me.  How could this be? Why THIS family?  They are so young.  They had no idea.  It’s not fair.  It’s just not fair.

As I try to redirect my attention and focus on the rest of my assignment, mildly distraught and definitely shooken up, I start to reflect on my own life.  I start to think: When’s the last time I told the people I care about most that I love them?  Have I made sure to tell them how I really feel?  How much they mean to me??  Have I made enough time for them?  Have I?IMG_0389

We have no idea when this life we often take for grated will be taken away from us.  It is much too precious.  Tell your loved ones you love them.  Without any expectations. Without any fear.  Just tell them.  Just like that.

Smile with your heart

skitour(Pictures are from Brohm Ridge, Squamish)

Categories: Nursing


  1. i remember this… i felt the same way, came home and called my parents, sister, and told my partner how much i loved them, and then dreamed all night i was doing CPR still. I love this blog Jenn- thanks for doing this!

  2. you Jenn.

  3. Oh so true dear one. I did tell my partner how much I loved him today and we both had tears in our eyes. Life is short. Make every day YOUR DAY! Thank you for the reminders and keep up the postings and stories of your life. I truly care!

  4. Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is
    really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

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